Menu For 5 Days At The Coast

John Liu

The pandemic has thrown many out of work, and others have been stuck working from home for months. I have been lucky enough to have the opposite problem. I’ve been working six and seven days a week, almost living at the office some weeks.


Well, in a little over a week I get a break. Three couples and a few adult kids are going to a beach house on the Oregon coast for five nights.


These plans were made with not a little trepidation. Would the coast be “open”? Was it responsible to spend time with other people? Should everyone get Covid tests before arriving? In the end we all just decided to do it, and apparently so did everyone else because it was hard to find a place. Fortunately one of my friends rents out her beach house, which is reportedly very nice - she donates it for various charity auctions - and gave me a “friend” price so game on.


Last night my French friend, “N”, texted me: “Hi all, we are so excited about our trip to Oregon and spending time with you. We are having a cocktail and taking about meals! Let us start thinking about fooooood!”


So, I’m thinking! Naturally that means coming here and asking you to do the thinking for me :-)


Possible dinner ideas for five nights on the Oregon coast? Here’s what we have:

- Enthusiastic cooks in the crew, including N who hails from Brittany and is wonderful with anything remotely French, her husband “W” who is from NYC by way of the South and is the designated griller, and DD who as you know has worked in and run a kitchen since high school.

- Big well equipped kitchen. I’m bringing a couple sous vide sticks, a pressure cooker, a knife roll, maybe a food processor and mixer (I mean, just toss them in the van) and drive 90 minutes - it’s not that far away.

- There’s a good fish market in Cannon Beach, the next town over from where we’ll be. I will probably bring meat, poultry, supplies, from Portland. There are of course good food stores on the coast where we can get anything else.

- Traditionally we eat a lot when we get together. We don’t plan lunch much but dinner is treated seriously :-)

- Everyone involved eats anything.


Ideas? There’s been talk of tartines, duck, oysters ...



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Jim Mat

Wagyu Beef, Salmon, Namasu, Steamed Rice, Miso Soup, Steamed Fresh Vegetables. Berries and cream

Serve the beef Japanese style: sashimi size pieces; some flamed/torched, some seared. Maybe nigiri and a roll. An ounce or two per person. An appetizer, not a main.

Salmon: grilled, or broiled with a miso paste. This is a main.

Fresh vegetables: baby bok Choi, Napa cabbage? steamed with an oyster sauce/chicken broth sauce.

An artichoke with dipping sauce?

Fresh Berries, I think berries that used to go to restaurants are in my local markets. Very nice berries! Berry mixed with cream.

My County health director does not want us to travel more than 50 miles because of covid.


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Gooster

I'd make sure you have any special ingredient or spice ahead of time; sometimes these can be tough to find in a quality brand, like miso or a nice vinegar for a mignonette for oysters, or some good french cheeses for a charcuterie plate or the tartines.

I'd do a southern bbq themed meal, with the right cuts of beef (not wagyu for that)

A salmon and Dungeness crab centric meal would be ideal, with the best of the local seasonal ingredients. Some cedar planks or a nice court bouillon poach for the salmon, and for an interesting take on the crab, stir fry crab with black bean sauce along with other dishes. Or you can just do a big seafood boil and have a mess. Strawberry shortcake or trifle.

What kind of duck? Magret de canard? Chinese style? How about a big cassoulet?

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plllog

I'd make some fab sauces ahead of time and bring them with. No one wants to be fussing over the sauce while everyone else is having a convivial good time. If you have base sauces and reductions you can flavor them to go with the meals as you cook them

Make ahead or buy some delicious nibbles. They don't have to be creative, just really good. Things like the classic stuffed dates, little savory tarts, etc.

With a few shortcuts, there's less pressure on the cooking time.

For entrees? Depends on what you and your friends like. Depending on availability you could come prepared with something unusual, like a saddle of goat or a pig's head, and then fill in with the local seafood, or a simple chicken to show off a great sauce.

Think up some really great, easy vegetables. Like Molly Stevens's braised cabbage, carrots glazed in their own sweetness (no sugar), grilled veg platter, those roasted brussels sprouts everybody but me loves.

Have at least one DIY night: Pizzas, crepes, tacos, felafal. Add some odd bits as options along with traditional fare, like crab meat and cornichons for tacos, eggplant for pizza, or pistachios for crepes, just for fun.

Bring all kinds of pickles, crackers, etc. to snack on.

Don't plan too much unless you're all into fierce planning. Instead, a bunch of mix and match options is more fun. Plan quantities of perishables pretty carefully, but throw in lots of extra this and that which will keep if they don't get used, and be a lifesaver if needed.

And have fun!

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lindac92

Maybe this is the east coast person, been a long time in Iowa talking....but I would want nothing but as much fresh wonderful seafood, simply cooked and mostly unadorned as i could stuff into my mouth. Oysters of which if I recall there are several wonderful varieties in that area....razor clams, and what ever other fish there was at the market that day that looked good. A few lovely cheeses, some good wine and spend the talent of the cooks on salads and dessert. Sounds like a glorious week!

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Islay Corbel

Check out chefsteps . They have a series of recipes for sauces that cook in the bag with the meat. Makes for really relaxed serving. All in the sous vide. Their green peppercorn sauce is very good.

https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/au-poivre-sous-vide-sauce

Your friend N is the perfect person to prepare your plateau de fruits de mer. Devezh mat.

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

lindac92, I am a west coast person myself and that would be what I would focus on as well.........the fantastic array of fresh seafood available in that area!! Lightly steamed or grilled - nothing too fancy to detract from that mouth-watering freshness!! Yeah, we can get that just about anywhere along the west coast but those coastal towns always have the freshest!! I'd also take advantage of the local cheeses and any seasonal produce available. Berry season here is just starting!

So I'd do the bulk of my shopping locally. And maybe assign or allow each of the guests to each pick a dinner menu of their own to prepare.

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bbstx

I have to respectfully disagree with Gooster. If you are going do a Southern barbecue theme, think pork - pork butt or spareribs. Chicken is somewhat acceptable. Barbecued beef (actually smoked) is a Texas thing, only found in pockets in the south where there is a Texas influence, and then mainly as smoked brisket.


The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest held in Memphis, TN, every year, has 5 categories for pork, and one each for beef, chicken, turkey, and seafood.

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jakkom

I'd probably do my usual for get-togethers: nigiri sushi, sashimi, and inarizushi. Takes a lot of prep work which you can do before you leave, so makes it easy to put together while others are crowded around the stoves/ovens/bbq.

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Olychick

I'd have fresh spring rolls on the menu sometime - it's a fun party food to do a "make your own" roll set-up.

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nancyofnc

Because there will be plenty of fresh fish and seafood in the PNW, I'd recommend ceviche with any white fish. The salmon there is top notch so we usually cooked it on cedar planks (native trees) or breakfasted with it raw on grilled sourdough with capers and local butter.

Dungeness crab is local and a real treat for someone from France. Hazelnuts are native there and produce 90%+ of the world crop. If the Marion berries are ripe (June/July) please try to find them a local shops/farmer's markets - they look like blackberries but are huge and sweeter. Because there are so many dairies, find some local cheeses that would not be found elsewhere in any country, and pair them with their wonderful wines, esp. Pinot Noir.

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plllog

I realize after reading what some of you said, that my suggestions are based on my experiences of the Oregon coast at this time of year--dank and chilly. :) The French friends might be used to such a climate. One does see people in the PNW walking around in shorts, and it gets downright sunny on the leeward side of some of the islands in Puget sound later in the year. Even then, however, I would always want a hearty dinner. I'm too delicate a flower for this discussion. :)

HIghly applaud the dungeness crab and marionberries suggestions if they're available. :)

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Jim Mat

Spring Rolls, Won ton, Foil wrapped chicken....I used those to keep the nieces busy. Tried mu shu once, kept me busy.

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nekotish

You are definitely heading to the land of plenty as far as fresh and local goes. This time of year = new potatoes, asparagus, English peas, strawberries... On the west coast of Oregon you will be able to procure great wine, incredible cheese and all kinds of artisan breads. Along with the great, fresh fish and shellfish available, your meals will pretty much make themselves!

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nancyjane_gardener

We've done many many large family rentals, and usually each family is in charge of one main dinner meal (or 2 if others don't want to cook) and plan on 1 or 2 meals out.

We usually each put $100 into a kitchen drawer for breakfast and lunch items, or things to add to the communal meal. None is used for your favorite wine or spice or treat that all others aren't going to share. If someone has to go to the store for bread that everyone is going to use for lunch, it comes out of the drawer and the change goes back in.

I always bring my food saver to freeze leftovers, cause who doesn't like other people's cooking for a change?

You can research the farmers markets etc in the area and buy from the drawer as needed as well.

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jill302

Love Cannon Beach! Think about bringing in chowder from Driftwood Restaurant one night.

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Islay Corbel

Plllog, we do get sun in France lol

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plllog

LOL!! I just meant that I know that some parts of France have climates that are somewhat similar, though maybe at different times of the year. France is several times the size of Oregon. I've had the good fortune to be in several different parts of France when the sun was shining. :) I've been in the Oregon rainforest when the sun was shining. BTW, it's dank but not so chilly, this time of year, here in the Southland, though the central coast can be dank all Summer. It disappoints the tourists who seem to think it's always sunny in California. So I'm not ragging on Oregon. I love Oregon. Family friends had a ranch in the middle. One Summer, when it was not raining, I painted the tractor barn. I picked wild blackberries and frolicked with the sheep. It was wonderfully bucolic And wet. And dank and chilly (to me) at the coast..

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LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

Halibut would definitely be on my list for at least one meal. Grilled would be my choice.

bbstx - you surely know that the World Series of BBQ is in Kansas City where we will smoke pretty much any piece of meat and some fish like salmon. Brisket is very popular here as well as brisket and pork belly burnt ends.

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John Liu

I will say that it has been the wettest June in awhile. It’s rained at least 5 days of the week all month. I don’t mind but do hope it’s drier by month end.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

What fun. You deserve it.

Peak of the seafood season. Same here. But NEastCoast.

Abundance for us is cod, salmon, king crab, lobster, uni, scallops, baby shrimp, squid, muscles, and moose.

We focus on cod, mussels and moose. Free and fresh since we fish and get mussels off the kayaks. (neighbors give us lots of moose)

No oyster so I would be all over the kumamotos. Raw, grilled, fritters, mini po'boys, oyster dressing, pan roast.

We seldom have chicken, pork or steak/burgers at the beach house. Those things we have so much of all winter. Usually make a big batch of moose chili and some mini moose meatballs for the freezer.

A rainy day is as fun as the lovely days. We will go all out and make a breakfast frittata, or waffles, or corn cakes, cod cakes, DH will short order cook omelets. Brunch pizzas, Salmon/avocado/BLT's, panini pesto/tomato/mozzarella. Etc. Good day for a puzzle or card games.

5 days is perfect. Collaborating menus and sharing the load with like minded cooks? so fun.

We prep much at home. Shop in my own pantry and fridge/crisper drawer Take those up in a cooler. Nothing worse than someone in your 'bubble' group needing to run around looking for a missing ingredient. (always happens for some small thing). Make some spice rubs, etc. My pantry is so full. Soy, miso, seeds, nuts, oils, Kimchi, Kombucha, cheeses, charcuterie, crackers, bread flour, yeast, toilet paper. 😂. Would definitely buy local fresh produce.

We have a half dozen friends/couples discussing the same scenario. Starting a month ago. Now everyone is flocking to the coastal communities.

We are not yet comfortable without testing. Unable to physical distance.

I was prepping for Newfoundland mid February. Such a shame we did not bolt fast early March. In retrospect it would have been the best scenario. Newfoundland is much like NewZeland being an island not letting anyone in.

They will not let us cross the border. After 20 years, so sad.

They have 20 straight days without a positive case.




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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Ah, personally, if I was invited....spring rolls. Oyster dishes and spring rolls would be my contribution. Crispy skin salmon cast iron, not flipped so on the rare side. Mint, Thai basil, cilantro, macro greens. I make a Thai/Japanese hybrid. Everything here in my pantry/garden. Even those snack packs of nori and hijiki I add. I'd start 10 trays of macros 10 days ahead, and another ten 5 days ahead for lots of salads all week. Great in spring rolls.

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bragu_DSM 5

envious ... and HONGRY!


lol

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John Liu

This is exciting! There will be a new state park to visit on the Oregon coast.

“Exploding Whale Memorial State Park”, where the state highway department once tried to dispose of a dead beached whale by blowing it up. There’s a great video out there of the, um, operation. News cameras, lots of excited spectators, highway guys with hard hats, half a ton of high explosive. A giant blast and lots of cheers. Then a rain of huge and small chunks of whale flesh falling from the sky, people running for cover, a car crushed, people covered with bloody blubber goo. It is a famous event in our state’s history and we’re all very proud of it.

https://www.oregonlive.com/travel/2020/06/now-you-can-visit-exploding-whale-memorial-park-on-the-oregon-coast.html

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naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan

John, I never knew about this famous Oregon event. Wow, just wow!

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Happens every couple years in Newfoundland. One last year was tragic as the authorities refused to help remove the 'stench' from the beach while the town had to keep a distance for weeks. Boom.


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John Liu

They don’t actually blow them up, do they?

If there were a way to do that safely, Oregon would be on board!

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Jim Mat

Whales explode and are exploded on a frequent basis.


Taiwan exploding whale.


In CA, whale carcasses are often buried on remote beaches, then exhumed for science.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Locals go after them with machete. It will ruin your summer having a rotten whale corpse on the beach of your village. Having been on our kayaks, and our boat getting up wind of a breaching whale...just the blow hole stench is horrible. So gassy.

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2ManyDiversions

The things one can learn on the Cooking Forum is diverse and extraordinary!

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Islay Corbel

Yikes. The thought of raining blubber........

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naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan

"The things one can learn on the Cooking Forum is diverse and extraordinary!"

Me: Look at this video

Husband: Wow, where did you come across this?

Me: The GardenWeb Cooking Forum?!?

LOL

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

LOL, we were laughing about the video this morning. I've run across it a few times over the years since 1970. DH grew up in Tacoma and was 15 at the time. He remembers that the highway department came in with dynamite. (meant for hard surfaces like rock). Hilarious they did not comprehend soft flesh surfaces.

Thankfully no one got hurt.


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Gooster

I'm most amused by the fact that the locals expressed a sense of humor in naming the park, with that name having won the contest.

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John Liu

Maybe we will recreate the event. Catfish and an M80?

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annie1992

OK, I'd watch THAT video, John, LOL.

I have no suggestions for food, other than all the fresh seafood I could get my hands on.

Relax, have a good time, enjoy your friends, and stay safe.


Annie

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John Liu

DD is joining us at the beach, though will arrive a bit late. She plans to make fritattas and some recipe she just “invented” which is a deboned chicken, keto diet-friendly stuffing, having a Jamaican or jerk flavor. I’m curious to find out what this is.

Her fritatta from earlier this week - she’s in Berkeley at the moment

Her chicken


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Olychick

Well, you lucked out on the weather!!! Enjoy.

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John Liu

We’re not there yet - going on Sat - supposed to rain :-(

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Jim Mat

Re DD, I am SIP in CA at the cabin, the county is recommending travel of less than 50 miles.

Seems Covid is transmitted by people.

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Olychick

Oh, boo, it's so gorgeous right now. Well, it will still be nice.

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John Liu

Jim, DD got a Covid test (negative), so that she could go see her grandfather in Fremont and then come join us. Testing is starting to be more available, though still nowhere near what it should be.

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John Liu

Well, fudge. I came down with . . . no, not the symptoms of Covid, I went and got a Covid tests that was negative. Feels like the start of a cold - sore throat, earache, rundown.

So, I’m in bed, dosed up with something to help me, nay, make me, sleep. Hoping I can kick this before we’re set to drive out to the coast on Saturday. If not, then I’ll stay behind and join when I’m not contagious, or not at all.


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John Liu

On Friday, I finally went to the doctor who diagnosed a “peri tonsillar abscess”, which means a swollen sac of infected pus in my throat, resulting in severe throat pain, jaw pain, ear pain, low fever etc. Sent me to the E.D. to get it drained. That resulted in 6 hours waiting in a room, and 1 hour of three doctors pushing an ultrasound probe down my throat, and then poking a fat needle through the back of my throat where the abscess was supposed to be. In the end, the exact right spot was never found, but they decided they’d poked enough holes that the abscess would figure out how to drain, helped along with an antibiotic course.

I spent Saturday recuperating at home, then headed to the coast on Sunday to join the others. Dinner that night was linguine with homemade pesto; sort of a convenience meal.

Last night I stopped by a marina and picked up a mess of crab and oysters. We also had some asparagus with mushrooms and Chinese sausage.



Tonight I need to do something with 8 pounds of clams.

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bbstx

Bless your heart, John, that sounds painful and awful. One of our local docs (former Army) would say your are “Rangering through.” I think I may have taken to my bed. 👏 for being a trooper!

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John Liu

Tonight we got 8 pounds of clams. I used about 2 lb for baking, with homemade garlic bread crumbs and manchego cheese. The rest was simply steamed over white wine with herbs and aromatics, which became a broth.

Dinners seem to be trending very simple. Good seafood, from at most a few miles away, cooked very simply.

Tommorrow we will figure out some kind of finfish meal.

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plllog

I hope you're all having fun and that you yourself are past the pain part.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

All looks amazing and about what a seaside bounty should be.

Glad you could join the gang after the medical scare. That experience sounded horrid.

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